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Oil Spill: Birds frozen in oil, Google Earth and OpenLayers

The oil spill has devastated the Gulf Coast as it spews out from the busted pipe on the ocean bed had had a huge impact on the eco system. Some of us never know how bad things are, but it is only when we see images of birds frozen in oil that we stop to think what BP, other oil companies and us who are dependant on this black gold what damage we are all doing to our planet.

You might wonder why we would be writing something like this on a tech site, well there is a new start-up that has been taking high-res photos of birds and marine life affected by what is now the worst oil disaster in American history. Marcia Stepanek from Justmeans points out that the company plans to create a public record of these images as the oil spreads further.

The nonprofit company has been distributing mapping kits; these consist of a balloon with a helium canister, kite and a cheap Canon camera. You will then need to put all this together with the roll of cotton and paper clips that come with the kit. When up in the air, the camera will take a shot every five seconds, which will then be geo-referenced and will then be put on composite maps.

The result is a huge number of images viewable on Google Earth and OpenLayers. The best part is that these new images taken by citizens have 10,000 times the resolution than those taken by satellites.

Were you one of those who have taken part in this?

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